The rise of ecommerce in recent years has made it challenging for retailers to survive with their brick and mortar stores, but there has been a fightback happening which could prove to be a valuable lifeline for retailers and help them to win back customers. This is the rise of concept stores which provide a new experience for the consumer and they are already providing to be a huge hit.
What are Concept Stores?
So, what exactly is a concept store? Instead of a typical shop that sells a particular item, like clothes, a concept store is a place which sells the idea of a lifestyle to a specific target audience. This means that you get a more holistic shopping experience where a mixture of different products are sold around a certain (changeable) theme. These concept stores usually have other experiences too, such as coffee shops, bars and exhibition spaces for a unique experience.
Why Are They Popular?
Concept stores are proving to be successful with consumers which is why so many retailers are now making big changes to their stores. The success of these stores can be attributed to a few different benefits that they bring.
Ecommerce may be easier but a concept store enables an individual to physically hold and examine products, but importantly they also provide a unique experience and they can become community hubs where people of similar interests come together. Many people like online shopping but still like the idea of getting out of the house, going into different shops and interacting with people and concept stores can provide a new way of doing this with exciting new experiences to try and even spaces for relaxing and socialising.
One good example of a concept store is from iconic fashion brand Belstaff. Belstaff have a on the historic and prestigious Regent Street and this is somewhere much more than somewhere to browse their . The new flagship store has taken a community-first approach and is designed as a space for their target customer to come and spend time. They can do this by attending classes for how to look after their Belstaff jacket, with special screenings, panel discussions and curated evenings with guest hosts. Visitors can also relax with a gin and tonic or coffee in their spaces designed for relaxing and socialising.
Concept stores are clever ideas which are already luring people away from online shopping and back into brick and mortar stores. There are many perks to online shopping and it will remain the preferred option for many, but for those looking for a greater cultural experience, concept stores can be a refreshing change of space and a new way for retailers to target, impress and engage with their target audience.